Tuesday Teaser 12/23/14: Daughter of the Wolf Clan
Christmas is *this* close! I still have some cleaning to do before the family starts arriving tomorrow, and the laundry pile is about to fall over and drown the kitties, but other than that I think I’m ready for the holiday. I hope your plans are going well too!
Here is your Tuesday Teaser from Kit and Olivia’s story. Kit is distantly related to Eddie Madison. but unlike Eddie he clues in pretty quickly that if he treats his mate roughly it hurts her. Everyone in his Pride plays rough, and since they’re all cats, they heal quickly. Olivia, he sees, doesn’t recover quickly. I think Kit is going to be a great hero! I hope you’ll enjoy this next snip.
Kit ran carefully with his precious burden. His feelings about this female confused him. He didn’t like people outside the pride. He didn’t get along even with his own pridemates, and they at least left him alone most of the time. Humans were cruel. Why this one smelled so fascinating he didn’t know. He knew only that when he’d first seen her he had wanted to break her neck. Until he scented her. Then all he wanted was to get as close to her as possible. A year ago one of his pridemates had claimed a human female as his mate and gone to live with her pride. Family, the humans called it. Kit had thought him crazy. Give up the freedom of living in the wild with the Pride in exchange for a confined life with humans? But now he understood. This female was his. Utterly his and he would keep her with him, never let her go, ever. He would go to almost any lengths to make her happy. Part of him, the sliver of human reason that dimmed when he was in his shift, whispered he was acting crazy. Kit ignored the whisper. It didn’t matter what his human side thought.
“Kit!” the female said insistently again. She had tried to talk to him from time to time, but now wasn’t the time to talk. He glanced down at her, inhaling her scent, but didn’t respond. He needed to keep his attention on the rocks and trees. He was moving with all the speed he could muster, so he could have her safe in his lair before dark. It hurt him when he saw the bruises his fingers had left on her throat. Devlin had tried to warn him to be more gentle. Human females were so fragile. The bruises should already be fading, but since she was a human, he would have to take far more care with her. He resolved to never hurt her again.
Maria might not like that he was bringing a human female into the Pride. She and Juanita and Tricia were the queens and they shared all the males of the Pride between them. They might not like another female to share their males with. He didn’t care. This human, Olivia, was his. He wouldn’t allow any other male to give her sex. Olivia would be his queen. If she objected to him giving sex to the other queens he would forsake them. When Justin, his pridemate, had found his human mate last year, the human female had demanded that he service only her. That must be exhausting for Justin. Maria sometimes required three or four of the males to satisfy her when she was in heat. But Kit would be happy to spend all his time pleasing only Olivia. He snarled at the thought that she might want to invite other males to please her. He would kill any male who so much as sniffed at her. He was the youngest of them, but they all feared him. Not only was he the fastest and strongest of them in spite of only being able to take a half-form, but he was sometimes able to control their minds if he bothered to make the effort. His eyes could force them to surrender if he thought it hard enough. It was seldom worth it. His teeth and claws were easier to use. But sometimes it was good to have everyone walk away unbloodied.
He leapt from one spine of rock to another ten feet away and felt the female tense in his arms. A glance down at her showed her pale blue eyes staring up at him. In spite of a light tan, he could see her skin was naturally pale. Her fine white blond hair was long enough to flutter in the wind created by his speed. he wanted to pet it. He didn’t know if she was beautiful the way humans counted beauty, but her long bony face with its narrow long nose and high cheekbones was beautiful to him.
She tried to hide it, but he could scent her fear. Her neck with the bruises from his fingers, speckled with tiny gouges from his claws still troubled him. Once he had her safe he would tell her he regretted hurting her, but he had no time to sooth her fear now. Yes, after he had brought her to his lair, he would speak to her. There he would be secure enough to resume his man form and assure her she was safe with him. He would protect her and any kits they had. First he had to get her to his lair. He had to hide her so her pride couldn’t find her and take her away from him.
How long could he run like this? Olivia looked up at the sky and saw the sun was almost down. It had been at least four hours since Kit had picked her up and carried her away. His pace was faster than any racehorse and his heart rate and breathing weren’t labored. Olivia estimated he had carried her at least sixty miles. She had tried to pull a few of her hairs out and let them drop on the ground along the way from time to time. Even her father would have trouble tracking her all this way with no scent markers from her. But by now her father, brothers and the ranch hands would be searching for her. They would easily track her horse to where Kit had attacked her. After that she wasn’t sure how plain the trail would be, especially with Kit carrying her so her scent wouldn’t linger on the ground. But he was leaving some prints. Even though he crossed running water several times and moved over hard rock, surely her dad and brothers would be able to track him. She just had to leave some clues behind to help them.
Her dad would be disappointed in her. She wasn’t supposed to be more than a mile from the ranch house unless she had one of her brothers with her. According to Uncle Shadow even that was too far for a woman alone. His daughter Victoria had to scheme to get any freedom at all. Luckily Aunt Glory could stand up to Shadow better than anyone, so Vicki did get some freedom. Poor dad must be frantic to find her now. Olivia was sorry she’d pushed the limits of her freedom so far. When her dad and brothers caught up to her they’d put her in lock down for sure.
“Kit!” She’d been trying to get him to pay attention to her for the past three hours, but he’d always ignored her. Since he was running on relatively level ground now, she dared to squirm gently in his grip. “Kit, please! Let me down just for a couple minutes. I have to… I need to go to the bathroom.” When he paid no heed she pinched him and screamed, “Kit, are you listening to me?”
He glanced down at her with that alien face showing something fiercely feral and clamped his arms even tighter. “No.”
“Yes!” she snapped back. “Unless you want me to pee all over you.” She wasn’t making it up. She really did need to go, but the real reason was that her urine would be like a red flag to anyone tracking her. “Kit! Please!”
Maybe it was the “please”. He leapt up to a rock crevice and set her down. He waved a hand—paw—at the crevice. “Hurry.”
Olivia’s legs almost folded. She staggered and might have fallen if Kit hadn’t steadied her with a hand under her arm. After only a second he let her go and took one half-step back. He wanted her to pee into the deep crack in the rock. The scent would be harder for her father and brothers to catch there. She unbuckled her belt and found those rabid golden green eyes watching her carefully. Honestly shocked, she stopped.
“Can’t you go away for a minute?” she asked stiffly.
“Then you have to turn around,” she demanded.
“Why?” he asked in apparent confusion.
“Because it’s not polite to watch someone go to the bathroom!”
That strange feline face showed bafflement. Was he totally untamed? Didn’t he know anything about common courtesy? Privacy? She felt suddenly cold. He really was feral. “Kit,” she began. Saying please seemed to help before. She tried it again. “Please step away and turn your back. It’s not like I’m stupid enough to try to run off. I know you’d catch me to two seconds. Okay? Please?”
After staring at her for a long minute he did as she asked. It was embarrassing for her, but she quickly did her business and did her best to leave evidence for her father to find. Before she had even finished buckling her belt Kit was back, swinging her up in his arms and sprinting off again. Even her father couldn’t cover ground this quickly. Her urine scent would be gone before he came this way. Helpless tears stung her eyes and in spite of her efforts, she couldn’t force them back. Kit looked down at her as he ran. His eyes really were pretty, in a fierce, non-human sort of way. Intense and staring steadily in hers, his eyes filled her sight. She felt like he was trying to hypnotize her. Her effort to look away failed.
“Sleep,” he commanded in a fierce purr-growl. “Sleep, mahmade.”
And somehow, without her meaning for them to, her eyelids dropped and she slept.